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How additional support is provided

If your local authority (council) agrees to assess your deaf child and decides that they have additional support needs, they must provide adequate and efficient additional support for learning (ASL) to meet these.

ASL will usually be in the form of one of the plans below. The names of these plans may be different, depending on your local authority. For more information about additional support for learning in Scotland, visit the Enquire advice service website.

We have more information if your child requires support getting to school or help in order to access exams.

Child's Plan

Some deaf children and young people need additional support to meet their wellbeing needs. In this case, a local authority may suggest a personalised plan, often called a Child's Plan. Although your local authority may have a different name for it. A Child’s Plan is part of the Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) policy. It sets out the needs of the child and how those needs should be met. 

If your child’s teacher believes that your child needs extra support, they may be given a GIRFEC Child’s Plan. It should reflect your child’s voice and must be used by all the professionals who work with them to meet their wellbeing needs. This includes the lead professional working with your child in school and especially their ToD, if they have one, who will need to advocate for the deaf-specific support your child may need as part of a Child’s Plan. 

If your child has both a Child's Plan and an Individualised Educational Programme (IEP) or Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP), information from their IEP or CSP can be included in their Child’s Plan.

Individualised Educational Programmes (IEPs)

For some deaf children and young people, an individualised educational programme (IEP) is needed. This may be called different things depending on where you live. For example, it may be called an Individual Learning Plan (ILP), Individual Support Plan (ISP), Additional Support Plan (ASP) or Wellbeing Assessment Plan. 

Whatever your local authority calls it, an IEP provides detailed planning for learning. If your local authority decides that your child needs an IEP, it will describe in detail: 

  • the nature of your child’s additional support needs (ASN) 
  • the ways in which these needs must be met 
  • learning outcomes to be achieved 
  • specific information about the additional support that’s required, including support required from agencies other than education (health or social services).

Co-ordinated Support Plans (CSPs)

A Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP) is a legal document for children and young people with significant long-term, complex or multiple needs requiring support from multiple agencies. These agencies include education, health or social services. Most deaf children who do not have complex additional needs will not meet the eligibility criteria for a CSP.  

Read our information about deafness and additional needs. 

If your deaf child has complex needs in addition to their deafness, they may be able to get a CSP. They can sometimes be difficult to get. Visit Enquire's website for more information about obtaining a CSP. 

Leigh is mum to Rafael (12), who is profoundly deaf and doesn’t use hearing technology. 

“Rafael has a very rare genetic condition, epilepsy, autism and a learning disability. He’s deaf, tube fed, requires full-time care and is non-verbal. As soon as I could, I requested a CSP and argued for one-to-one support for Rafael with a fluent British Sign Language (BSL) user as part of that plan. We had to get a lawyer involved because there was a lot of opposition from the local authority who argued that he didn’t need BSL. 

“It was at that point that I told Hetty that she needed to do the same. We got both the boys CSPs with agreed one-to-one BSL support at all times to support their ability to access school and the curriculum. The CSPs mean that we can take the local authority to Tribunal if they don’t give the boys the agreed support.”

Rafael and Nat's story

After years of pushing for one-to-one British Sign Language (BSL) support, mums Leigh and Hetty got their boys CSPs with agreed one-to-one BSL support at all times to support their ability to access school and the curriculum.

Read their story.

What a CSP covers 

As a CSP is a legal document, which helps to coordinate the multiple agencies supporting your child, all local authorities must follow the same detailed rules and regulations. Once your local authority has agreed to create a CSP it has 16 weeks to produce it. You’ll usually be invited to a meeting along with the professionals working with your child to discuss what should go in the CSP. The local authority should then send you a draft of the CSP to approve. 

A CSP will include information on: 

  • your child’s strengths 
  • why they have additional support needs (ASN) 
  • their educational objectives 
  • what support is needed to help them achieve their objectives 
  • who will provide this support 
  • details of the person responsible for coordinating their plan 
  • any other additional information. 

Your child’s CSP should be reviewed at least once every 12 months. 

You have the right to appeal to the Additional Support Needs Tribunal if:  

  • your local authority decides not to carry out an assessment for a CSP 
  • they decide your child doesn’t meet the criteria 
  • you’re not happy with the contents of the CSP 
  • the plan is not being implemented properly. 

Transition planning

Transition is the name given to any change related to school. This can include the time when your child is moving from primary school to secondary school or moving from P4 in one school to P4 in different school. 

Whatever the reason for the transition, your local authority has a duty to do some form of transition planning for children with additional support needs (ASN). If your child has been identified as having ASN, the local authority should begin to gather information and views from any professionals who have been working with your child six months before your child starts primary and 12 months before starting secondary school. 

They should play a significant role and have responsibility for supporting transition planning for deaf children starting school, as part of additional support for learning (ASL). This support may not be automatically offered, and you may have to advocate for your child with your local authority.  

How additional learning needs can be met 

  • Teaching methods such as an auditory-oral approach, sign language or total communication to make sure your child can access the curriculum. 
  • Support from a Teacher of the Deaf (ToD). 
  • Speech and language therapy. 
  • Support from a learning support assistant (with experience of working with deaf children) for literacy-based subjects. 
  • Support from a communication support worker (CSW). 
  • Radio aids, both in and out of school. 
  • Background noise kept to a minimum and good classroom acoustics to cut out echo and sound bouncing back from floors, walls and ceilings.